Before Delving Into The Similarities And Differences Of

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Before delving into the similarities and differences of each country’s approach to teaching math, the article first discusses some of the cultural differences between the way teaching, as a profession, is viewed in Japan, the way teachers are trained to become teachers and how the Japanese school system differs from that of the United States. The article then focuses on several components that contribute to the ways math is taught, the role of homework and seatwork and how each are viewed, the materials teachers choose to use to teach their lessons and how they use them, the ultimate goal of each lesson and how the classroom set up varies from country to country. Each aspect is given its own section and focuses on the differences of each…show more content…
Japanese teachers do not create their lessons based upon a series of steps they intend to complete but by how they predict students will interpret the problem they present to them at every step. Japanese teachers do not tell their students to what to do or how to approach a problem. Instead, they place more emphasis on challenging the students to figure out all the possible ways that they could solve a problem and let them work through it themselves before discussing their findings as an entire class (Hiebert, et al., 2003). In this manner, the students are applying concepts that they have learned from previous lessons in order to come to a solution towards a problem that they have never seen before. Once they have done this, it is believed that they can provide evidence as to why a problem is correct. In short, it is the Japanese belief that students will not understand the underlying concept of a problem if they are not forced to figure it out by themselves. Even when they make mistakes, the Japanese believe it is in the students’ best interests to complete the problem and then try to make sense of why their reasoning led them to the wrong answer so that they will not make a similar mistake in the future (Hiebert, et al., 2003). The American teaching philosophy is vastly different from that of Japan’s teaching philosophy. Instead of allowing students to
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